The Segregation of American Teachers.


  • Erica Frankenberg University of California, Los Angeles



Teacher distribution, student diversity, diversity (faculty), faculty mobility


Data from a unique new survey of over 1,000 teachers in K-12 public schools across the country show that our teaching force is largely segregated. Using this new dataset, I find that teachers of different races are teaching students of very different racial composition, adding an extra dimension to growing student racial segregation. White teachers comprise an overwhelming majority of the nation's teachers. Yet at the same time, they were the least likely to have had much experience with racial diversity and remain remarkably isolated. The typical African American teacher teaches in a school were nearly three-fifths of students are from low-income families while the average white teacher has only 35% of low-income students. Latino and Asian teachers are in schools that educate more than twice the proportion of English language learners as schools of white teachers. Nonwhite teachers and teachers who teach in schools with high percentages of minority or poor students are more likely to report that they are contemplating switching schools or careers. The article concludes with recommendations for diversifying the teaching force and ensuring that schools serving students of all backgrounds have a racially integrated, highly qualified faculty.


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Author Biography

Erica Frankenberg, University of California, Los Angeles

Erica Frankenberg (Ed.D., Harvard University) Erica Frankenberg (Ed.D., Harvard University) is the research and policy director of the Initiative for School Integration at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.. Her research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies. She is the co-editor of Lessons in Integration: Realizing the Promise of Racial Diversity in America’s Schools (with Gary Orfield, 2007) from the University of Virginia Press; other publications include journal articles, book chapters, and reports about trends, causes, and consequences of school segregation.




How to Cite

Frankenberg, E. (2009). The Segregation of American Teachers. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 17, 1.




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